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Apex Pro vs. '13 X Forged


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So I got a chance to put in some good comparison testing of the Apex Pro irons versus my current '13 X Forged. My rep left me a 3, 5, 7, and 9 iron so I was able to compare long, mid and short irons. Our grass range is closed for the winter, so I was hitting out of our indoor studio off of a mat, although I did grab a handful of real golf balls as well as our usual range balls.

 

Appearance:

The head shape and size of the two irons in very similar, the Apex Pro may have a slightly thicker top line, or it could just be the satin finish makes it look a little wider. The Apex Pro just makes you think that it is going to be a soft iron, with the satin finish, it reminds me of the original Adams Idea Pro irons. The wider spaced grooves gives a much more traditional look to the face at address. Soft lines and minimal offset keep a nice clean look that inspires confidence that I can hit any trajectory and shot shape that the situation calls for. The 3, 4, and 5 irons have a tungsten plug in the sole of the iron that is not visible unless you look at the sole, it doesn't add any bulk to the club at all.

 

Feel:

This was a little harder to quantify since the weather here is a crisp 45* with a nice breeze, so the ball felt firmer off of the face of both my current set and the Apex Pro. Taking the cold weather into account, the ball felt like it jumped off the face of the Apex irons a bit more than the X Forged, the face is thinner and you could tell that there was a little more ball speed. The one thing that I didn't like about how fast the ball came off the face was that I didn't feel like the ball stayed on the face long enough to control the starting line or height. This was all in my head though, since I was able to hit every shot shape that I wanted to. The turf interaction was tough to really measure, but we do have the high quality mats that allow you to hit down through the ball a bit more than the traditional ones, so I got a slight sense that the club would work its way through the turf.

 

Flight:

The Apex Pro seemed to hit the ball a bit higher, especially in the 3 and 5 iron due to the tungsten sole weight, they didn't balloon the ball and I was still able to knock the ball down. The new groove design and pattern kept the spin rate down versus the X Forged, which made it easier to control the overall trajectory of the ball, a flatter flight that was able to cut through the wind easily. Since I wasn't able to adjust the lie angle, it was much easier for me to turn the ball over, but I was still able to cut the ball with relative ease, a very controllable iron. The KBS Tour V shaft was a good bit lighter than the standard KBS Tour that I have in my current set, they provided the same flight and a very similar feel through the swing, but I did feel like I lost the club at the top on a few swings, especially when I tried to step on it.

 

Distance:

While this is one of the main points that Callaway is focusing on, that the Apex Pro irons will be seven to nine yards longer than the X Forged due to the thinner face on the club, it isn't exactly my biggest concern. That being said, I did see a distance gain with the Apex Pro versus my current irons, I would say I averaged about eight yards longer with each iron on a normal swing. The distance control was still very consistent, I was hitting my 9 iron to a flag on the center of one of our target greens, with the Apex Pro, I was hitting to the back of that green. The seven iron showed very similar distance gains and consistency, but the five iron had a slightly larger distance gain, about a full club longer than with my current irons.

 

The other main point that I was told about is that the new groove design was intended to actually reduce the amount of spin out of the rough so that players get a more predictable amount of run on shots from the rough. I was not able to determine this from my range session, but I am hoping to get out and hit a few balls on the course at some point this week.

 

I'm still looking to get a little more testing and comparing in before I decide whether or not to put these in the bag for this season, but I am leaning more towards making the change than I was prior to testing them.

 

 


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Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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Thanks for the write up. I've been very interested in those Tour V shafts. I like the feel of Tours but create too much spin with them. Doing much better with C Tapers. I like having a heavier shaft, so the Tour V may not be for me. Those irons sound promising. However, the Cobras I got on my trip are working better than anything I've played to date for me. I'm in no hurry to change. Always nice to know what's out there anyway.

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I'll probably give the Tour V a shot, I can always pull the Tours from the X Forged if I want to go back to them. I wasn't sold on changing, but after trying the Apex Pros, I am putting some serious thought into it. I'm going to try and get a few holes in on Thursday to see how they perform on the course.

Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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The apex pros are really high on my list for new irons. I really like the looks of them and they sound like their forgiving but with out the extra sole thickness or major offset.

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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Nice write up, this is one iron that I really want to try out.

 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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Hit the Pros on the course today, really nice iron. It was a bit cold, so everything felt a little firmer at impact than normal. I did have my set as well, so I got a good comparison between the two and I would say the Pros jump off the face a bit more. To get a good comparison, I took a dozen balls to a short par 4 and hit three balls off the tee with my current 3 iron and the Apex Pro 3 iron and then three with each 5 iron. With little regard for precise distance, I found that the Apex Pro group with each iron was five to seven yards longer and produced a slightly higher flight than the Forged. I then went to the fairway and played each ball into the green. I ended up having good yardage for the 7 iron but was between my PW and 9 iron with the second set. With an actual 7 iron yardage in mind, I found that I was a little more accurate with my current iron, which isn't surprising since I've been playing them all year, but had a very nice dispersion with the Apex. The ball stopped nicely, a few feet after it's pitch mark. I did some rough measuring and had an average of 9 feet with my current 7 and 12 feet with the Apex. As far as impact and turf interaction, the Apex came through impact a little smoother than the Forged, it left shallower divots.

 

The 9 iron approaches were a little different since I had to take about five yards off of my normal 9, would have liked having the wedge, but my rep gave the other half of the set to someone else. The three shots with the Apex were three quarter knockdowns, the first two hit and stopped immediately and the third hit the flag and came back off the green. I really liked the way that the club came through impact on the knockdown, a deep divot, but the club didn't feel like it got stuck after impact.

 

I went back to my two spots and dropped balls in the rough to see how the Apex worked from the longer grass. One of the points that was made to me by the rep was that the new groove design was intended to reduce spin on shots from the rough so that the flight would be more predictable. The ball definitely jumped a bit from the rough with the Apex irons, but still stopped within a playable distance from where it hit the green. The club seemed to work through the longer grass very smoothly and didn't grab too much at impact. The 9 iron still put enough spin on the ball to get a one hop and stop on the green. The slightly higher launch enabled trajectory to help stop the ball even with a little lower spin rate.

 

A couple of random thoughts and observations, the new groove is so much easier to clean on the spot than the smaller, tighter spaced grooves on the Forged, not a huge deal, but one of the little things that annoy me on the course is fighting to get dirt out off the grooves between shots. The Tour V shaft is a very responsive shaft, it is light but doesn't play like a light weight shaft, still not 100% on it versus the standard Tour shaft for my game. The satin finish is really nice in the sunlight, no glare and frames the ball well.

 

After this test, I am definitely going to be making the switch to these irons.

Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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  • 4 months later...

I went with the Apex Pros and couldn't be happier.  Great set of irons.

Bag: :ping-small:  Hoofer Vantage

Driver: :ping-small:  G25 10.5 Aldila NV 65 S

3 Wood:   :cobra-small:  Fly Z+ 3 Wood 13.5*

Rescue: :adams-small:  XTD ti 18* set to 17* or  :adams-small: Pro 23* 

Irons: :callaway-small:  Apex Pro 4-PW, KBS Tour S, Standard Length and Loft, 2* flat, 

Wedges: :callaway-small: Mack Daddy 2 50* bent to 51*, KBS Tour S

:vokey-small: Spin Milled 56* bent to 55*

:callaway-small: Mack Daddy 2 60* U grind KBS Tour S

Putter: :cameron-small: Futura X5 MOTO

Grips: PURE DTX Green

 

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